CSIRO research has found dengue fever mosquitoes in the South Burnett are genetically different to those in the North Burnett … eliminating them would create a barrier that would help protect SEQ

December 20, 2019

WBBROC chair and Gympie Mayor Cr Mick Curran

The Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Councils (WBBROC) has called on the State Government to fund a campaign to eradicate dengue fever mosquitoes from Murgon, Wondai, Goomeri and Cherbourg.

WBBROC Chair – Gympie Mayor Cr Mick Curran – said the four towns are the closest dengue fever mosquito areas to the densely populated south-east corner of Queensland.

CSIRO research had shown the DNA of the mosquito in the northern South Burnett is unique.

It is also different to dengue mosquitoes located further north.

The southern mosquito population in Wondai, Goomeri and Murgon showed no mixing with the northern population of Gayndah, Mundubbera and Biggenden.

The CSIRO found that no recent mixing has occurred between the northern and southern mosquito populations, so it was reasonable to conclude the isolated southern population would be an ideal candidate for an elimination program.

This would help create a bigger barrier between the disease and South East Queensland (SEQ).

“If dengue fever every did get a hold in SEQ, the costs would be enormous,” Cr Curran said.

“The cost of eradicating the mosquito from Rockhampton in a recent outbreak ran into millions of dollars.

“WBBROC is only seeking a modest $250,000 a year for 2 years to help eradicate dengue mosquitoes from the southern part of its region.”

Mayor Curran said local council officers could assist with the work.

The region also had a special Dengue Mosquito Disease Management Group set up.

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